Clare, Considering Senior Living Community or Living In a Condo
Couple of weeks ago I was in Milan visting my family when I got a call from Clare, a family friend who said she was facing a common problem. Her two children had moved out of her four bedroom home. The thought of maintaining, mowing, and snow plowing on her own started to look unappealing. She told me that she was experiencing the empty-nest syndrome and wanted to know the difference between senior living community or buying a condo. I told Clare that there are many different options available to her and the difference can be considerable.
Ownership Senior Living Community
I said to Clare that an ownership-style senior living community is a fee simple arrangement in which you buy your own unit and enjoy full ownership privileges. As any traditional real estate deal, pricing is usually negotiated with the previous owner. You pay a monthly maintenance fee as well as condominium association dues and you are responsible for paying real estate taxes and assessments as well. You get the pride of home ownership with the convenience of community living. Buying what may be your last home is considerably different than buying your first, and you will need to account for some factors that are unique to later life and the communities that cater to older buyers. Find out what management is like. Make sure you meet with management and talk to residents to get a clear picture of what you will be dealing with. There is nothing worse than getting stuck living in an area with a horrible management company or association.
Rental Senior Living Communities
Rental senior living communities are the most popular option for many and are usually the least expensive between the three models. The communities require the residents to sign a lease and pay a security deposit or community fee. From what I been told a rental community will offer independent living and have an assisted living facility on the premises for residents whose care needs increase, resulting in a need for additional assistance. Many people are attracted to the rental option because there is no large upfront fee or medical or financial eligilbility criteria that residents must meet. Some rental communities will provide a variety of services and amenities that are built into the residents' monthly payments. These can include meals, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, and activities.
Clare said to me that as we get older, we start to appreciate not having to do some things. Cutting the grass and snow plowing is never easy. I told her that his is where living in a condo can help. Buying a condo offers all the benefits of owning a home. Condos come with the same costs associated with homeownership. There is the mortgage and condo association fees. You are responsible for paying your utilities and other costs. A condo can be an investment because you will own your own unit. Living in a condo will not provide you with medical assistance or full time supervision. This is not ideal for those who may have limited mobility or those who need help with medications or dressing. With a condo you get a seperate entrance for every unit. You can buy or rent your unit and use it how you would like to. Condos are very private. You maintain all your privacy without any concerns. The benefit of owning a condo is that you do not have to worry about outdoor maintenance, upkeep of the property, and overall care of the property.